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The endogenous retrovirus-derived long noncoding RNA TROJAN promotes triple-negative breast cancer progression via ZMYND8 degradation

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Science Advances  06 Mar 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 3, eaat9820
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat9820


Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) play pivotal roles in the development of breast cancer. However, the detailed mechanisms of noncoding HERVs remain elusive. Here, our genome-wide transcriptome analysis of HERVs revealed that a primate long noncoding RNA, which we dubbed TROJAN, was highly expressed in human triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). TROJAN promoted TNBC proliferation and invasion and indicated poor patient outcomes. We further confirmed that TROJAN could bind to ZMYND8, a metastasis-repressing factor, and increase its degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway by repelling ZNF592. TROJAN also epigenetically up-regulated metastasis-related genes in multiple cell lines. Correlations between TROJAN and ZMYND8 were subsequently confirmed in clinical samples. Furthermore, our study verified that antisense oligonucleotide therapy targeting TROJAN substantially suppressed TNBC progression in vivo. In conclusion, the long noncoding RNA TROJAN promotes TNBC progression and serves as a potential therapeutic target.

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